As fervor for pop/rock band Newsboys hits a high point with the recent release of both the Restart album and the God's Not Dead film, a group of high-powered lady musicians are paying tribute to the band the only way they know how--through song.
The result is a new Christian music super-girl-group, appropriately named Newsgirls.
Just as Newsboys was fronted by Australians for much of its history, an Aussie fronts Newsgirls, with CCM icon Rebecca St. James' unexpected return to Christian music. St. James--whose brothers are tearing up the charts as for KING & COUNTRY and whose husband has been active as the bassist of mainstream act Foster the People--says she's excited to get back into performing.
"I thought I was signing up for karaoke night at the local community center," St. James said after a recent Newsgirls rehearsal in Franklin, Tennessee, "but someone pulled a fast one on me. Oh well; it's fun to do something a little different."
Joining St. James in the group are two other musicians whose bands recently dissolved: bassist Alyssa Barlow of BarlowGirl, and guitarist Melissa Brock of Superchick. Perhaps the biggest name on the ticket, though, is current Skillet drummer and vocalist Jen Ledger.
Ledger recently recalled her storied entry into the band: "My manager approached me with this opportunity, saying, 'You're Australian, right?' I said, 'No, I'm British.' He said, 'Same thing. You really ought to join this Australian band. So I did!'"
The group hasn't been without controversy, though. Barlow reportedly left a rehearsal in tears after St. James questioned if her bass licks were "Australian enough."
"I didn't mean her any harm," St. James was quoted as saying. "I just know that if we're going to pull this off, we have to have extra kangaroo-power--extra wallaby, you know? And these Yanks are just too Yankee sometimes."
Brock told NRT News that she was excited "for this next chapter of Superchick."